Apple may be tracking the App Store activities of iPhone users

Apple has updated its privacy policy to stop third-party apps from tracking the activities of iPhone user. Now the Cupertino-based tech giant itself is allegedly tracking user activities in the app store. If this rumor is true, this could be a significant departure from the company’s ideals and principles regarding user privacy.
How Apple Tracks iPhone Users’ App Store Behavior
According to a report by 9to5Mac, two researchers recently discovered that iOS sends Apple a detailed log of how iPhone users interact with the App Store. The report sent by iOS includes specific user behavior such as the locations typed while interacting with the App Store and more. The report also mentioned that iOS provides the data to Apple “in real time via a JSON file.”

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According to the report, the newly discovered tracking feature appears to be related to the new advertising spots that Apple has recently introduced in its mobile app repository. Some developers also believe that the tech giant has been tracking users’ activities in the App Store since the release of iOS 14.6 in May 2021, the report adds. It is also important to note that Apple’s App tracking transparency Feature with iOS 14.5.
The report could not explain how the company uses this data, but noted that Apple still tracks users who browse the App Store. Apple can claim that the collected data will not be shared with third parties and this change will affect ad platforms google in the Meta by making it harder to track iOS users. Apple appears to be collecting App Store data even when the Personalized Ads option is turned off, the report says.
Apple’s introduction of ads in the App Store
Apple recently introduced new advertising spaces in the App Store, which allow developers to promote their apps on app pages and in the main tab today by paying the company. Before this, the company only allowed developers to show their apps in the search section of the App Store. In addition, Apple now also lets developers access some statistics about their ad performance and the company’s App Store data collection could be related to it.

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Some users even criticized Apple for showing “irrelevant or ethically questionable content” such as casino and dating apps soon after the company made the new ad spots available in the App Store. Apple has temporarily suspended ads for these apps and it is unknown when the company will come up with a permanent solution to such ads.

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